NCIS fans call for Gibbs return after nod to former boss in McGee’s latest struggle

NCIS fans picked up on a reference to the show’s former leading man, Gibbs, in the CBS drama’s latest episode.

Gibbs (played by Mark Harmon) said his farewell to NCIS back at the start of season 19. An entire season later, his impact still lives on among the team with McGee (Sean Murray) dropping a big nod to his former mentor in episode nine of season 20 when he decided to revisit his writing hobby. Needless to say, CBS viewers everywhere loved the reference to the long-serving leading man of the show.
The reference to Gibbs came when McGee informed the team about his desire to bring the fictional “Agent Tibbs” back to life.

“What mystery is Special Agent Tibbs embarking on next?” Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) asked his colleague, prompting bemusement from the newest agent Jessica Knight (Katrina Law).

“Your lead character’s name is Special Agent Tibbs?” a surprised Knight asked before McGee explained: “Gibbs and Tibbs are wildly different people.”

McGee was clearly struggling to put on the page what Tibbs would be up to next, explaining that the character was also enjoying a hiatus like his former boss.


Spotting the chance to have a bit of fun, Torres suggested the introduction of Miami detective Rick Sorres.

However, McGee’s struggles with his latest novel became clear when he said: “Novel’s going great, I’m just having some trouble getting started.”

McGee’s wife Delilah (Margo Harshman), who made a welcome return in episode nine, weighed in, however, to suggest McGee’s difficulties have arisen from Gibbs no longer being in the picture.

She told him: “(You’ve) barely written a word since Gibbs left for Alaska. Gibbs is not what makes you great.”


“Your fans will be so excited to read a new Deep Six mystery,” Delilah tried to reassure her other half.

McGee found a sweet solution to his troubles, however, telling Delilah: “LJ Tibbs is retired, remember? So I have a new main character I think fans will love just as much as I do.

“She’s a beautiful, brilliant cryptologist by the name of Delena Flemming.”

“And does Delena get to solve cases with her equally brilliant husband?” Delilah asked her husband, clearly touched by the gesture.
“You just have to wait and see,” McGee teased, proving he is able to move on from the absence of Gibbs thanks to the support of Delilah.

While the novel discussion laid the groundwork to show McGee is finally getting over the fact Gibbs is no longer alongside him in the field, it did lead to some fans wanting to see the two reunite in the future.

On Twitter, Serena Nelson shared their emotional reaction: ”@SeanHMurray just a reference back to Gibbs/McGee goodbye scene ‘Great Wide Open’ still hits my heart. #NCIS.”

While @TheKevNation echoed: “I know that feeling McGee. We all still miss Gibbs #NCIS,” followed by a crying emoji.
Fellow fan Kadri Hajdari didn’t mince their words: ”#NCIS Gibbs and Mike Franks have to come back for one episode.”

Spotting the underlying theme between McGee and Delilah, Lindsie Rodgers added: “Delilah knows that her husband is frustrated since Gibbs stayed in Alaska. #NCIS.”

Sam Gonzalez also spotted the nod to Gibbs: “Leon, Al, and Nick are now speaking up to Jared into his office while working on the undercover case and he’s an FBI agent?!! Delilah and McGee are speaking up at the lab regarding Will’s murder while mentioning Gibbs!! @NCIS_CBS #NCIS.”

While @the_el_zy picked apart McGee’s explanation: “Tibbs is not like Gibbs. But since Gibbs is getting R&R, so will Tibbs. Lol. What @NCIS_CBS @SeanHMurray #NCIS.” (sic)

NCIS season 20 returns to CBS in the USA on January 2, 2023. A UK release date is yet to be announced.

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